After the two ruling austerity parties failed to gain enough support for their president, the Greeks return to the ballot boxes. This is the third election in three years and could result in a massive victory for workers. Because the SYRIZA Party could outgrow the conservative; New Democracy and the social-democratic; PASOK. Syriza used to be a coalition of the radical left, but became a political party itself. Although much to the left of PASOK, revolutionary socialists are worried about the moderate course. SYRIZA’s leader does not call for socialism and wants to work with the EU. We see this reformism in many leftist parties who operate on the left of social democracy. SYRIZA has the potential to become a mass workers party, as many Greek workers have enough of austerity, poverty and capitalist exploitation which the European Union enforces in Greece!
In Greece the austerity plans of the European Union resulted in massive poverty and desperation. Still the right-wing New Democracy and PASOK carried out the will of the European Central Bank and the EU Commission. In order for Greece to get aid, they were forced to carry out neoliberal politics, implementing privatizations and deregulation’s of markets. The Pan-Hellenic ”Socialist” Movement ( PASOK ) used to be seen as a leftist party, but by working with New Democracy and the EU against the Greek working class, PASOK lost massive votes With new elections approaching it is very possible, PASOK may lose even more votes!
Revolutionary socialists are hopeful that SYRIZA may get enough votes for a majority government. However now a problem may emerge. SYRIZA is led by a man who is not a revolutionary socialist. Alexis Tsipras is a moderate socialist, but he scares the hell out of the stock markets. His leftist rhetoric against austerity may be seen as genuine socialist, but he does not call for a socialist Greece that opposes the European Union. Alexis Tsipras is not liked by the ruling class, because he rejects their logic. He is not their puppet, unlike the politicians from New Democracy and PASOK. A SYRIZA majority government could result in genuine democratic socialism, if Syriza carries out a socialist program. However this is what SYRIZA is lacking, they remain vague about socialism. What will happen if Greece get a SYRIZA government? Will it remain loyal to capitalism as social democracy has done in the past? Or will it brake with the EU enforced austerity and carry out a socialist revolution?
SYRIZA is not the only leftist party that may gain support. The Communist Party of Greece ( KKE ) has been the traditional radical leftist party of Greece before the rise of the Coalition of the Radical Left ( SYRIZA’s original name ). The KKE is a Stalinist party and sectarian in nature. They refuse to work with SYRIZA because they call Alexis Tsipras a reformist and not revolutionary. Therefore the communist party refuses to work with SYRIZA in any way. Revolutionary socialists in Greece reject this sectarianism, the KKE and SYRIZA are the biggest parties of the working class and need to work together on a socialist program. Stalinist dogmatism is preventing this, as it has done in the past. KKE leaders claim to be the only force in Greece that can lead to socialism, yet most workers do not see it that way. The communist party lost a lot of votes to SYRIZA in the last election!
Because SYRIZA is not calling for socialism, its has not been able to mobilize the working class enough. In the last three years, Alexis Tsipras moved his party to the right by calling on Greece to stay in the European Union, a move which was not helpful since this EU is enforcing austerity. Also instead of active opposition to Brussels, Tsipras calls for negotiations with the European Commission. This will alienate many when SYRIZA is able to form a majority government. Many workers will abandon the radical left and may be mislead to vote on capitalist parties again. Capitalist propaganda will do anything to portray a SYRIZA government as ”inefficient” and ”not working”. We have seen this in Venezuela were most private media outlets spread lies after lies to portray socialism as nonworking and a ”failed” system.
A third radical leftist force in Greece is ANTARSYA or Anti-capitalist Left Coroperation for the Overthrow. ANTARSYA rejects the European Union completely and calls itself revolutionary in nature. ANTARSYA calls for a socialist revolution, but like the KKE they refuse to work with SYRIZA in a socialist coalition. This sectarianism is preventing the Greek radical left from been seen as a socialist alternative. SYRIZA may win the next elections, but if it remains moderate it will lose its working class support. PASOK used to be a workers party too and won the most votes in the 2009 elections. But because of their betrayal, the workers abandoned this social democratic party!
Workers in Greece need a socialist government and SYRIZA must brake with the European Union. Not only austerity must be rejected, but capitalism in general. Workers need to take control over their economy,by creating democratic workers councils and cooperatives. They do not need capitalists and their CEO’s to run businesses. Workers can do it themselves, this we call self-management. A socialist Greece would be a beacon for the world, a proof that socialism is neither stalinism nor social democracy. It will unmask the capitalist propaganda as false and will strengthen class consciousness around the world. This is why the stock markets are in panic over a SYRIZA government, they fear socialism and what it could do to their power structure!